Faculty portfolios

  • Node A: Ward-Brown
  • Node B: Ward-Brown
  • Node C: Ward-Brown
  • Node D: Ward-Brown
  • Node E: Ward-Brown
  • Node F: Ward-Brown

Denise Ward-Brown

Associate Professor


Walker 004

Campus Box 1031

Denise Ward-Brown is a filmmaker and an associate professor of art in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Her films frequently explore African and African-American themes and history. Most recently, she completed Home Going, a three-part documentary suite about Washington Park Cemetery—a historical representation of the African-American Church, an autonomous institution founded in a segregated society.

Currently, Ward-Brown is producing and directing projects with funding from the Missouri Humanities Council and a 2016 Ferguson Seed Fund Grant from Washington University.

In 2015, she received an Artists Fellowship Grant from the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) and a Sam Fox School Faculty Creative Activity Research Grant, which supported travel to the 2015 Creative Time Summit In Venice, Italy, the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia. She designed a new course entitled Tale of Two Cities: Documenting Our Divides with funds from a 2015 grant from The Divided City: An Urban Humanities Initiative funded by the Mellon Foundation. This faculty-collaborative grant allowed students to successfully interact with and film social justice organizations throughout St. Louis.

Ward-Brown earned a BFA (cum laude) from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and an MFA (summa cum laude) from Howard University. She began making documentary videos in West Africa as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 1997-98. Her first video subjects include numerous traditional celebrations in Ghana, for which she received the Second-Place Documentary Award at the Abuja International Film Festival, Nigeria (2004) and the Project Series '03-'04 Grant from the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2003). Ward-Brown received production grants for her award-winning video documentary Jim Crow to Barack Obama (JC2BO), including a CALOP grant in 2011, a Kresge Arts in St. Louis Grant, and a Sam Fox School Faculty Creative Activity Research Grant. In 2013, she received an Artists Support Grant from RAC.